Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Crossing the Threshold

Leah Gebber

“It’s all about supporting women through their journeys, whatever those journeys may be,” says Miriam Maslin, doula and grief therapist. In her work as a doula and workshop facilitator, Miriam has helped hundreds of women face the devastation of perinatal and other forms of loss, offering succor and support to help them cross the threshold into healing.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ballet shoes hands

Miriam was already a young grandmother when she trained as a doula. “I was working through a physical illness, which directed me to leave what I was doing. I’d been an interior designer for years.” The recognition was cemented one evening as she sat learning with a friend. “I can see you as a doula,” her learning partner commented. Miriam realized that the time was ripe for a change of direction.

Learning to support women through their births was more than a career change for Miriam. With it came the deep satisfaction that she was offering a supportive hand in a tumultuous life event. “There’s something about birth work that touches a very deep place within women,” Miriam says. She tapped into this deep place as she met with new mothers and guided them. Miriam’s approach is holistic and spiritual. It invites the mother to become a wholehearted participant in the birthing process.

When Miriam met Yocheved before her second birth, Miriam asked her, “In painful situations, how do you seek comfort?”

Yocheved answered, “I always run away from pain.” Yocheved confessed to Miriam that she couldn’t see how there could be any joy or benefit from pain. Miriam spent time working through her emotional issues, which were the barriers that were keeping her from seeing the birth as a spiritual experience.

A few hours into labor, Yocheved started to despair. Her husband remembered that he and his wife had found reading Sefer Yonah to be a source of great healing and power during Yocheved’s first birth. In a dimly lit room (bright lights are not conducive to the production of oxytocin), he sat next to her and read her the entire sefer. After he finished, Yocheved was calm and serene. “Yonah couldn’t run away from his mission, and I can’t run away from this,” she told Miriam. Soon after, she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. The birthing experience had become a time of profound emotional and spiritual transformation.

 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”